How to build a pizza oven
Building of a pizza oven is fairly straight forward and requires completion of the following steps:
- Foundation (Out of wood, brick, stone etc)
- Concrete floor
- Sand bed for insulation
- Hearth of firebricks
- Dome (Out of brick or clay)
- Insulation (Out of vermiculite, perlite, fire blanket or a mix)
- Cladding / Render
 Pizza Oven Types
Pizzas have been in since the 18th century, and along with the evolution of pizza, the methods of preparing a pizza have also evolved. Today, you will find a huge variety of pizza ovens in the market offering various ways to make the perfect pizza. The ovens vary in shape, size, capacity, mobility, as well as locations they can be placed at.
When building a pizza oven, most people get confused when it comes to choosing the shape of the oven. We've seen both Rectangular Barrel oven domes and Round Igloo oven domes in use. In bakeries and eateries, we usually see the Rectangular Barrel. Both the domes cook the same way and none of them leaves cold spots in your pizza or bread. Professionals use Rectangular Barrel Domes because it gives them more space and allows them to make more pizzas at a time. For personal (home) use, space and quantity are not an issue so either shape would suffice. Both the domes take the same amount of time to heat up.
The material you use to build your oven determines how long the oven will last. There are a couple of other factors that affect the life of the oven too but the material used is the most important one. The material of the oven also determines how quickly the oven will heat up, how long will the heat last, how fast will the heat dissipate, etc. Most of the time the ovens are either built with bricks or clay. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. After fully understanding how these materials will affect the oven should you decide which one to build your oven with.
If you are building an oven for personal (home) use then you should use bricks. Brick ovens are low maintenance and preferable for home use. Clay ovens require more care during construction and may start peeling or cracking if not done right. Brick ovens use 3/4th of the heat from the fuel/fire, leaving out only 1/4th of the heat, which makes them fuel efficient as well. The bricks absorb the heat very well, have a very good thermal conductivity and heat withstanding properties, which makes them ideal for extended use.
- Fire Clay
- Fire bricks
- Bricklaying trowel
- Plastering trowel
- Rubber mallet
 Clay (Cob / Earth / Horno / Adobe)
In a clay oven, clay is the essential material as it is used to hold all the materials together. Wet clay tends to be sticky but once it dries up, it becomes hard. You also save a lot of space in a clay oven as you can use the same space for fire to heat the oven up and then for cooking after removing the fire. The heat in a clay oven is also evenly spread and does not leave cold spots. Clay ovens stay hot for a long time too so you get ample time to cook your pizza.
For insulation and better results, clay is mixed with sand or straw. Sand reduces the shrinkage while straw provides the insulation. Depending on the local temperature and weather conditions of your area, you will need to make the right mix of clay, sand, and straw for best results.
- Fire Clay
- Protective gloves
- Dust mask
 Building a Pizza Oven
If you follow the right guide, it becomes fairly easy to construct a pizza oven. It has a few basic parts that enable the oven to function properly. All these parts are important and should be carefully constructed. The parts of a pizza oven include:
To begin the construction of the pizza oven foundation you first need to establish a solid flat surface. If building directly on soil this will simply mean removing the grass with a spade to expose the soil. If you are to build on an existing structure you will need to ensure that the weight of the pizza oven foundation and the pizza oven itself will not cause any problems. As the materials used may be extremely heavy it is likely that if an oven were to be built on a wood platform that cracks or other failures may occur.
Once a suitable surface has been prepared you may begin construction of the foundation. Material used may include brick, besser blocks, rock or wood such as recycled railway sleepers. The materials may be laid directly on bare soil and an initial concrete foundation is not required. Construct a four walled box as the foundation up to the height you would like the hearth of the pizza oven to sit. Ideally you want the hearth to be high enough that viewing within the oven does not require extensive bending, however not so high that placing of pizzas or cleaning is difficult. Once the box is complete you may fill in the center of the box with soil, sand or another readily available material up to about 20cm from the surface. Upon this newly created cube you will want to place a small concrete foundation to provide a solid surface for the sand and then the fire bricks. You can either create your own concrete from sand, cement and aggregate (small rocks) or purchase premixed concrete in bags. Fill up the cube with concrete 5cm from the surface. You want to leave 5cm spare to insert builders sand to provide a completely flat surface for the fire bricks. The sand is critical to create a flat surface and to provide insulation to prevent heat from dissipating below the oven.
- Bricklaying trowel
- Concrete mix
- Besser block
- Railway sleeper
- Fire Clay
When it comes to cooking, the hearth is the main part of the oven. It is the part where you will be placing your pizza or bread for cooking. The hearth is a slab rising a little above the base of the oven and is a clean flat surface of fire bricks for the pizza to sit upon as it cooks. Firebricks are used due to their ability to withstand the extremely high heats generated by the oven fire. In order to prevent build up of waste or debris between the bricks, the bricks are placed as close as possible together without the use of mortar. The sand upon which the bricks sit enable for a completely flat surface and to allow the bricks to be slightly adjusted with a rubber mallet.
To construct the hearth you will need to place refractory fire bricks on a thin layer of fire clay and sand (sieved) to remove any particles or pebbles from it. At least half a bucket of pure sand without impurities is needed. Impurities or pebbles in the sand will keep you from properly leveling the hearth. Begin by screening the sand to a flat surface with a builders level or a long flat piece of wood. Depending upon the foundation built and the method employed, you may need to create a box out of wood specifically for the purpose of helping create a flat surface with the sand. Find the center of the oven and place once fire brick gently on the sand. Do not press down on the bricks as you lay them. Gradually add additional bricks next to the existing bricks by placing the edges together and slowly sliding the brick down into place. Do not slide the brick over the sand as you will push sand between bricks with will prevent them being placed flush. Once all the bricks have been laid, use a builders level to identify if any sections are not flat. User a rubber or wood mallet to gently flatten sections which are out of alignment. Begin with the joins with the greatest differences ('lips') gradually moving to the most minor.
Alternatively you may mix the fire-clay and sand with water to make a paste. The paste is spread on the concrete slab with a plastering trowel (zigzag, with square teeth on the edge.) The bricks are then placed next to each other. A wooden/rubber mallet may be used to level the bricks to make a smooth and even surface. The bricks for the hearth should be laid at least 48 hours after the concrete slab dries. 32" x 36" (82 cm x 92 cm) is an ideal hearth size for home pizza ovens.
The width of the dome determines your cooking space and the height of the dome is always 3/4th of the width. The main job of the dome is to hold the heat. The heat energy goes into the dome evenly and then it is radiated back and used for cooking after the heat source is removed. It is always better to construct a brick dome instead of a prefabricated dome because prefabricated domes develop cracks and start peeling.
For best heating in your oven, it is important to be careful about the height of the dome and the door. The ideal heights are:
Entry door height: 10 inch (25.4cm) Vault height (internal): 16 inch (40.6cm)
The dome of a pizza oven can be constructed in a number of ways:
- Use wet sand to build a dome shaped form and then mortar the bricks by laying them against the form.
- Use wet sand to build a dome shaped form and then place wet news paper and cob over the sand.
- Cut Styrofoam vanes to your dome's profile and place it inside your dome. Remove after the dome is completed.
- The most common is the free-standing dome which uses chains of brick circles that are built on top of each other and are self-supporting.
The external of the pizza oven may be finished with either a cement or clay render, a final brick layer, or tiled.
 Vent / Chimney
In brick ovens, 1/4th of the heat leaves through the chimney. A chimney also improves the airflow through the oven. It also helps direct the smoke so it doesn't blow out on your face. An enamelled flue pipe can be used for the chimney. The height of the chimney depends on the size of the oven but it can be anywhere from 1 meter or more. Some people choose not build a chimney in their ovens but that may result in an oven the does not perform at its optimum and may result in excess smoke issues.
The vent of an oven can be constructed with brick, cast, or steel. Each material has its own advantage depending on the usage. The vent of a pizza oven is usually on its outside, not inside. You can use decorative material to hide the vent from the outside. The vent lets some heat escape the inner chamber/dome. There are two places where vents are placed:
In traditional ovens, the vent is in the front, while in central designs the vent is in the centre of the dome and connects to the chimney to let the heat out. The center vent has the benefit of moving the hot air over the top of the oven and may help improve even heat disbursement. There is another design called "vent in the oven" where the vent is placed inside the oven behind rather than in front of the door.
The flue is the opening that allows the heat or gas to pass through the chimney. If not properly placed, they might release more heat than they should and affect the cooking of the oven. The flues need to be cleaned regularly or they might obstruct the passing of the heat through the oven. It is necessary to use fireproof mortar for jointing the flue liners and the voids between flue linings must be closed with insulating material.
 Heat expansion
When the oven heats up, the dome expands. The heat expansion can cause cracks in the dome of the oven. Heat-resistant insulation is applied on the dome which not only helps with the cracks but also makes sure the dome stays hot for a longer time by keeping the heat locked instead of letting it escape. Perlite or Vermiculite can be used for this purpose. You may add more coatings of heat-resistant insulation on top of your oven dome to increase the cooking times.
 Fire Bricks
A refractory brick, also called fire brick, is used in pizza ovens due to their ability to withstand high heats.
 Fire Clay
Fire clay is an essential component of all high-heat resistant fire-clay mortars or fire brick insulation beds. When using fire clay, you need to make sure that it is free from impurities. Any impurities or pebbles in fire clay will prevent you from having a level and smooth oven. The clay may be mixed with mortar to create a mix more resistant to heat. This may be necessary for areas which are exposed to the greatest amount of heat. For the sand bed under the fire bricks, fire clay may be added to improve the insulation properties.
 Where to find fire clay naturally?
Fire clay is available at local market. But you can easily collect fire clay from its natural sources. Just you have to close eyes and think where you have seen lighter color mud. It may be that place where soil erosion is occurring. You can find fire clay where excavation is going on. If it is wet, mud will be sticky and soft along with no organic matter. Another thing is important to keep in mind that fire clay will shrinks nearly 10-15% with lighter in color when it is dried.
 Chemical Composition
Fire clay contains higher alumina content, about 24-34%. Silica content in fire clay ranges from 50-60%. After the water dries out, fire clay tends to shrink around 10-15% so you may need to take some extra fire clay with you.
|24% - 34%||50% - 60%|
Mortar is needed at almost every step in the building of a pizza oven. There are two types of mortars and neither should be substituted for another.
 Refractory Mortar
When flat fire brick joints are difficult or impossible, refractory mortar is used. Its maximum application should be no more than about 6mm. It shouldn't be used to fill holes or empty spaces in the oven. It is only suitable for external use on the oven.
Refractory Mortar can be prepared by mixing Sand, Calcium Aluminate Cement and Fire clay in the ratio 10 : 3 : 1.5:
|Sand||Calcium Aluminate Cement||Fire clay|
Note: Use the grey Portland cement, not white.
 General Purpose Building Mortar
This is the mortar that you will use to lay the bricks of your pizza oven. The mortar is for use with general building bricks, not refactory fire bricks. It is very easy to prepare. To make General Purpose Building Mortar, you need:
- Portland Cement
To make this building mortar, you will need the above components in this ratio 6 : 1 : 1.
Mortar can also be made with just sand and cement without the lime in the ratio 4 : 1. Lime allows for mortar to be easier to handle and increases the drying period giving you three times as much time to work with.
 Mortar Mixing Instructions
To prepare the mortar, first of all you will need to mix all the components properly (do not use water, only mix dry component.) Once you have finely mixed them, add a little bit of water whilst mixing. Continue adding water at regular intervals, while mixing, until it forms a paste as thick as peanut butter.
Cement is defined as a substance used to as binder in construction work. Beside mortar and clay, cement is widely used in making pizza oven. Depending on composition and color, cement is classified as follows:
- High alumina cement
- Acid resistant cement
- Hydrophobic cement
- Blast furnace cement
- Acid-resistant cement
- Expanding cement
- Portland cement
- Low heat cement
 Thermal Insulation
The dome of the oven needs thermal insulation which prevents the heat from escaping. If the oven does not have proper thermal insulation, the dome will release all the heat and you will not be able to cook. Our goal is to thermally insulate the dome to maximize the amount of time heat can be stored into it. There are different refractory insulation types that you can choose from.
- Perlite or Vermiculite can be used for dry and loose form of heat insulation.
- Ceramic Fiber Blankets can be used for insulation as well. While they are a bit costly, they provide excellent insulation and do not need any additional forms of heat insulation on top.
- Ceramic Fiber Blanket
Cladding is the final layer of the oven and may be either concrete or an additional layer of bricks. Some people prefer the aesthetics of a brick outer layer and so will utilise fire bricks for the internal dome, and then place a final cladding layer of regular building bricks over the top of insulation. Not only is it cheap and easy to afford but also increases the amount of time that your oven will stay hot consistently. Cladding proves to be an extra heat insulation for your oven and has many advantages including:
- It stores all the heat energy.
- You can cook items requiring less heat because the cladding stores the heat for a long time.
- It slows down the temperature drop of the oven.
- Aesthetically improves the appeal of the oven.
 How to apply cladding
For concrete cladding a 2 inch thick concrete layer should be applied on the dome. You will want to mix a concrete blend similar to mortar plus any concrete coloring you'd like to add. Begin by placing a layer of aluminium (aluminum) foil over the oven. The foil will prevent the existing oven walls from drawing water out of the cladding before it has had the opportunity to set. Place a 2 inch thick layer of cladding over the foil with the use of a trowel.
 Cladding Mixture
|Aggregate (Stones / Sand)||Portland cement||Lime|
|4 parts||1 part||1 part|
- Aluminium foil
- Bricklaying trowel
Building a pizza oven is a very time consuming task. In order to make a good pizza oven, it is recommended that you leave the oven to dry after constructing each layer.
For instance, once you have laid the bricks for the base, you have to let it dry because the next stages in the oven construction require a solid base. If any cracks appear after the base is dry then you can just patch it up with more mix.
 First Firing of the Pizza Oven
Before firing the pizza oven for the first time you will want to ensure that all the materials have completely dried and the concrete or mortar has cured. The longer concrete takes to dry the more strength and resilience it gathers, thus it may be beneficial to wrap the oven in builders plastic to extend the drying time. Any water that does exist in the oven when the first fire is created will turn to steam and try to escape. This is when cracks are most likely to appear. For this reason it is imperative that you wait until everything is dry and build the heat of the fire gradually.
 Cooking with a Pizza Oven
Cooking a pizza in a pizza oven is always better and results in a better tasting and absolutely delicious pizza because the oven is designed in such a way that the entire pizza gets the heat very evenly and is also cooked at a very high temperature which can't be achieved with ordinary ovens. This high temperature adds to the taste. This is why most people in Italy, where the pizza originated, still prefer to cook pizzas in pizza ovens.
 How to install a pizza oven outside!
- 1. At first, place a metal band outside where you want to install pizza oven
- 2. Lay clay bricks inside the prepared frame and its normally done from front to back
- 3. Don’t need to grout among clay bricks
- 4. Then you have to lay a cement around chosen area, which is the joining part dome and cooking surface
- 5. Place the dome carefully and make proper cementing
- 6. Then rub out excess cement from the outside and inside of dome
- 7. Then cement a chimney onto oven dome (sometimes it is taken as optional work)
- 8. Allow it to be set for 3 to 5 days.
 How to cure a pizza oven simply!
- 1. Before making large fires in your pizza oven, you have to cure it first. This will ensure longer shelf-life of pizza oven.
- 2. Use dry wood for easy burning
- 3. Denser wood tends to smoke in large quantity
- 4. Make five or more small fires inside oven to cure your pizza oven and it should be done for two to five days.
 How to make good fire in pizza oven!
- 1. First make fire by adding dry wood and keep it by continuing dry and small wood
- 2. If there is large amount of wood, it will create heavy smoke and overwhelm through the chimney
- 3. Always use dry wood to make fire in your pizza oven
- 4. Before cooking pizza you can make fire slowly for two to three hours to heat up dome. You can keep burn coal side of your pizza dome.
- 5. Besides, you can make good fire for 45 minutes in the middle position of pizza oven, which will help to bake pizza properly. It also helps to give good texture of pizza.
- 6. Then you can push this fire to side or back.
- 7. Then you have to flick ash from the inside of pizza oven and place pizza dough and you can use feather duster for it.
- 8. You have to monitor it properly and if needs you have to add dry wood again.
 Minor cracks
Sometimes, minor crack is seen in pizza oven. It is a result of severe heat. It may be happened during normal heating and cooling process of pizza oven. It is very normal issue during lifespan of pizza oven. Don’t need to be worried for it. One thing you should follow that before using a new pizza oven you have hydrate it with sufficient amount of water and properly.
 Some tips for outside pizza oven
- It is better to use lighter colored wood.
- Dense wood always make smoke and it adds smoky flavor to pizza.
- It’s better to shorten the heating time of dome.
- Make fire in middle of pizza oven
Usually the only maintenance that an oven needs is regular cleaning. Once the oven is cold, you can use a rake to sweep the ash that has gathered to the center or the sides, and carefully sweep it out of the oven. The chimney of the oven also needs to be cleaned regularly and you might need to check for nests or other items stuck in it that may be hindering the passage of the heat through it. To keep your oven functioning properly, just clean it regularly and make sure the vents are clean with nothing stuck inside.
Having regular maintenance is important in giving a good run to your pizza oven. The simple act of taking away the cobwebs at the exterior top of the dome is helpful enough to keep pizza oven clean. As the heart of the baking or cooking pizza is in the center of the oven, it is just proper to keep it always tidy. Whatever dirt is retained inside the dome will surely affect the taste of the pizza. There are two practical and doable ways in maintaining your pizza oven. The following are:
Raking out the ashes inside the dome
As raking out the ashes inside the dome is impossible without the rake, then you need to have one to start off the cleaning. This is done first by raking the ashes to the center of the oven. Then using a paddle, lift the ashes and slowly carry them out. Because cleanliness is the issue in the maintenance, you should avoid dumping the ashes just anywhere in the backyard. You need a bucket to contain all the ashes. When the ashes are becoming thinner and harder enough for the rake and paddle to handle, a two meter broom sweeper is a great help. The process is repeated until the inside of the pizza oven is free from wood ashes and residues.
Brush, brush, brush
Brushing the floor of your pizza oven is a good way in eliminating hardened ash or dirt. With this you need brass bristle brush. It is designed to brush the oven floors. Brushes made from plastic are too soft for the task and besides they are not enduring. Then using a damp cloth attached in extended stick, wipe the floor of the oven chamber. The cloth must be cotton made in order to maximize absorption of the smallest dusts or ashes. If brushing the walls of the oven is manageable, you can also do so.
As food defines the eater, it also true to say that cleaned pizza oven affects the pizza you bake.
 Common Problems
 Why my oven is not hot enough?
The temperature potential of a wood fired oven is largely dependent on the thickness of the oven walls and insulation, or the design of the oven door and flue. If your oven is not reaching even close o the target temperature required for cooking a pizza you will likely need to add additional insulation. A combination of the following:
- Fire blanker
- Perlite or vermiculite mortar.
- Cladding which is basically mortar.
- Another wall of bricks on top of the pre-existing oven wall.
 Cracks have formed in my clay or mortar
Cracks will usually form due to the oven walls being too thin or the material was not completely dry when performing the first firing. When heat builds in the oven and water remains in the walls, the water will turn to steam and attempt to escape the walls quickly and thus create cracks. These cracks are unlikely to cause structural issues and will likely only be unaesthetically pleasing. Simply smooth over the cracks with similar material the walls were made of (Eg. Clay or mortar). It is also possible that water will re-enter the oven walls via rain if the oven is not protected from the elements. When water seeps into the walls this water will again try to escape with the subsequent firing. For this reason you should either ensure the oven dries completely before use or build a cover oven your oven to prevent it becoming wet.
 Will the oven be ok in the rain?
Rain on a pizza oven may be a problem whether the oven is made out of cob or brick. Cob ovens obviously face the issue that because they are made primarily of clay they may begin to breakdown if allowed to become wet over an extended period of time. The clay will soften and lose its structural strength and as a result the oven shape may change, some clay may fall away, or the oven could entirely collapse.
For both cob and brick ovens water allowed to touch the surface may begin to seep into the oven walls over time. Brick ovens will not face the structural issues regarding water which cob ovens will, however when the oven is fired again in the future this could cause additional problems. If the oven is not allowed to dry completely when heat build up the moisture contained within the walls of the oven will turn into steam and will attempt to escape. This increase in pressure caused by the steam could cause the walls of the oven to fail and crack. For this reason it is imperative that the oven be allowed to dry completely before a fire is created.
 Rain Cover
The best solution to avoiding issues caused by rain is to build a cover over the pizza oven to prevent water touching the oven. The cover can be made out of any waterproof material so as to create a small roof for protection.
 My pizza is not cooking uniformly
Normally, pizza is baked at 450-500oC temperature. If this temperature is not raised in pizza oven, your pizza will not be baked properly. Again, temperature is okay but you don’t know how many times you have to bake pizza. Inadequate baking time may be another cause of improper baking of pizza. You have to maintain time and temperature properly for getting uniform baked pizza.
 My pizza crust is not crispy
It is a big problem, if pizza crust doesn't be crispy. There are several factors behind this problem. First one is water content of pizza dough. Olive oil is one of the liquid ingredients in making pizza dough. If dough contains high amount of olive oil, pizza crust will not be crispy. For making pizza crust crispy you can use less olive oil and replace it with warm water. This mixture of olive oil and warm water will results in crispy crust of your pizza. Second one is time-temperature combination. Proper temperature for a fixed time period makes pizza crust crispy.
If all ingredients are mixed in right amount, you can use pizza screen to bake pizza. This pizza screen produces pizza crust crispy. This porous baking platform helps heat passing to the bottom part of pizza directly. Direct heat passing helps to remove moisture from dough quickly and makes crust crispy.
 Why my pizza gets soggy?
It is one of the common problems in baking pizza that pizza gets soggy. It doesn’t happen because of oven efficiency. It may be for three major reasons:
- If you don’t preheat pizza stone
- If you add more liquid sauce
- If you don’t bake properly
To overcome this problem, at first preheat your pizza stone for 30 to 40minutes. When stone will get hot, you have to put pizza dough on it for baking. Don’t bake pizza with a lid after pouring tomato paste or to thicken. Finally, bake pizza properly at right temperature range. If you follow these instructions, your pizza will not be soggy at all.
 Why pizza crust gets hard?
There are several reasons behind of getting your pizza crust hard. Pizza oven is not responsible for getting crust hard. Pizza crust may be hard because of
- poor quality pizza flour
- poor quality die yeast
- too much flour using
- improper kneading
- improper baking (high temperature)
If you face this problem that your pizza crust getting hard and white in color, you should check all these things with care. If people keep pizza dough at refrigeration temperature over night, he or she will not get quality pizza like pizza prepared from fresh dough. If you mix quality ingredients at right proportion and bake it properly, you will get quality pizza definitely.
 Why is my pizza smoky in taste?
It may be one problem that pizza gets smoky in flavor. It’s not a big problem. Mainly, it is occurred if you use wood to create fire for baking pizza dough. If you place pizza dough in hearth at the time of making fire, you pizza will be smoky in flavor. Again if you use moisten wood to make fire, it will make smoke for long time in dome and it will cause your pizza smoky in taste. To prevent this problem, you have to place pizza dough in oven hearth after burning wood completely. Moreover, dry wood is always recommended to use in pizza oven.
 Hidden problems with pizza oven
 Termite treatment with chemicals for foundation
Termite is one of the insects available in soil. It remains hidden in soil but will cause great problem to your pizza oven after some moths. Termite leads breakage or sudden fracture of pizza oven. Before starting construction work of pizza oven, everyone should treat foundation soil with chemicals. To kill termites found in foundation you have to use chemicals before starting your construction for pizza oven. At first, you have to make some holes (12-20 mm diameter) close to the foundation wall. After that you have to inject chemical emulsion to kill termites. By this way, you can control or kill termites in foundation soil during pizza oven construction.
 Termite and under floor soil treatment
Crack is one of the major problems with construction work. Cracking may be result of expansion of construction joint or because of poor constructing materials. If there is any crack at the joining point of oven floor and dome wall, it may allow termites to enter in the soil. Termites may loose soil under floor, which may lead sudden breakage of whole pizza oven. It is one of the hidden problems for any construction especially for pizza oven. If there is crack in your pizza oven, you should use chemicals or poison to kill termites. To apply poison or chemical to underneath floor soil, you have to make some holes with a diameter of 12 – 15 mm through the cracks up to the soil. Then you have to inject poison or chemical through the holes. You have to make soil saturated with chemicals or poisons. Maximum using limit of chemicals is 1L per hole. Lots of chemicals used to kill termites are available in market. You can purchase any one by consulting with expert. After injecting chemicals you have to seal the holes with proper cementing materials.
 Health and Safety
For your own health and safety, and that of others, do not use any asbestos containing material in your oven as it has been proved to cause lung cancer.
Only use the new vermiculite products. Do not go for the old ones as the new ones are clean and do not contain any hazardous material but the old ones might. Make sure that the vermiculite you use is not contaminated with asbestos.
Always be cautious around fire and have a fire extinguisher around in case there is an emergency. Pizza ovens may become extremely hot (370 degrees Celsius) and thus will burn instantly. Be aware of the danger to pets, children, and the intoxicated. Rinse burns under cold running water for at least 15 minutes before seeking medical treatment.
 Pizza Oven Building Plans
A number of building plans exist due to the wide range of techniques by which a wood fired pizza ovens can be built.
 Sourcing Materials
Sourcing materials for building a pizza oven can be difficult due to the types of materials and techniques involved. If you have a free and easily accessible supply of clean clay then a cob oven might be the most practical approach. If a brick oven is desired then the key materials will include brick, insulation and cement.
- Cob oven materials
- Foundation (eg. Brick, clay, wood (eg. Railway sleepers))
- Sand to place the hearth and build the oven dome on
- Fire bricks for the hearth
- Brick oven materials
- Foundation (eg. Brick, clay, wood (eg. Railway sleepers))
- Concrete to place the hearth on
- Sand to place the hearth and build the oven dome on
- Fire bricks for the hearth
- Builders bricks for the dome
- Builders mortar
- Mortar for the cladding